Maternity-Related Leaves of Absence

There are several laws which provide employees with protected leave from work during and after pregnancy. Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (which includes the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law), it is unlawful for an employer of 5 or more persons to refuse to allow a female employee "disabled" by a pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions to take a leave for a reasonable period of time not to exceed 4 months. After the leave, the employee may return to the same position she had before or a comparable position. The employee may even be able to return to work after exceeding the 4 months if the employer has allowed other employees to do so. Under a California regulation, the employee who takes such leave may use any accrued vacation leave during this period of time. This leave of absence may not be taken before the disability begins or after it ends. The employer can require the employee to provide reasonable notice of the date the leave of absence will begin and its expected duration. The employer need not return the employee to her position if her position would have been eliminated regardless of the pregnancy or safety and efficiency would be compromised.

If the employee has worked for at least a year for an employer of 50 or more persons, the employee may take up to 12 additional weeks of leave under the California Family Rights Act. This leave is available for many purposes, including time to bond with a biological, adopted or foster child or to care for a seriously ill child. This law also requires reinstatement.

The leaves of absence described above are unpaid. However, an employee may be entitled to State Disability or Paid Family Leave, forms of government assistance.

For a free consultation about your pregnancy rights in the workplace with an experienced employee rights attorney, contact David Spivak:

  • Email
  • Call toll free (877) 728-9741
  • Visit The Spivak Law Firm, 16530 Ventura Boulevard Suite 312 Encino, CA 91436
  • Fax (310) 499-4739

The Spivak Law Firm is a full service employee rights law firm. David Spivak and his team are proud to represent aggrieved employees like you in the following matters:

For further information on your rights in the work place, please visit our other websites:

Wrongful termination
Sexual harassment
Unpaid wages and overtime
Family and medical leave
Pregnancy discrimination
Disability discrimination
Age discrimination
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